Mageean leads record NI bid for Euro success
A record nine Northern Ireland athletes will be racing in the 39-strong Irish team competing in the 25th Spar European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg, Holland this weekend.
These highly popular championships have a huge entry of over 600 from 38 countries.
The nine from here will be led in the Senior Women's 8.3k race by recently crowned Irish champion Ciara Mageean.
Mageean, from Portaferry, previously raced in these championships two years ago when the team finished sixth.
Better known for her track exploits, Mageean will be hoping to place in the top 20 on Sunday.
She will be ably supported by Letterkenny's Anne Marie McGlynn, who finished just behind Mageean in the Trials and won a Euro bronze team medal in 2014.
Also racing is Armagh's Scottish Half Marathon champion Fionnuala Ross and Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty, who will be making her seventh appearance in the championships.
The Men's Under-20 event includes City of Derry's Fintan Stewart, who was fourth in the Trials, and in the Under-23s, Newcastle's Ryan Forsythe is tipped for a possible top-10 finish following useful form in the United States. Omagh twins Eilish and Roisin Flanagan race in the equivalent Women's event.
In the Senior Men's 10.3k, Belfast's Stephen Scullion, the Irish 10,000m champion, will be helping a good Irish team to possibly improve on their impressive fifth place from last year.